Saturday, February 28, 2009

Patel (Not Precedential): Motion To Reopen Asylum Claim Requires Merely "Reasonable Likelihood" That Relocation Unreasonable

Patel v. Mukasey, No. 06-2884
December 20, 2007
Not Precedential
2007 WL 4526023

Judges Rendell, Greenberg, and Van Antwerpen. Decision by Judge Rendell. For Mr. Patel, Michael G. Radigan of Matawan, NJ. For the government, David E. Dauenheimer and Virginia M. Lum of OIL.

The Third Circuit overturned the BIA in this case. IJ Riefkohl originally heard the case, but the Third Circuit criticized only the BIA's decision on a motion to reopen, not anything that the IJ had ruled on.

The Third Circuit overruled the BIA by stressing that a motion to reopen for someone who seeks asylum is to show a reasonable likelihood that it would be unreasonable for an asylum-seeker to relocate elsewhere in the country. The BIA inappropriately required Mr. Patel to prove that relocation would be impossible or unreasonable. The Third Circuit stressed that to reopen a case, proof of a reasonable likelihood that relocation would be unreasonable is enough for the topic of relocation. Same rationale for a motion to reopen to seek relief under CAT.


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